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system as opposed to somebody who is treated as an enemy combatant and by the way an american citizen may be treated as an enemy combatant will be a political hot potato. i don't think there's any question how the obama administration will come down on it. >> we move on. >> yes, we do. >>> as we mentioned, president obama appeared at the white house briefing room last night. he thanked authorities and said many unanswered questions remain. nbc's kristen welker is there this morning. kristen, good morning to you. >> all in all this has been a tough week. >> reporter: in a late-night appearance in the white house briefing room, president obama praised the quick work of the fbi, state and local officials who brought an end to five days of terror. >> and tonight because of their determined efforts we've closed an important chapter in this tragedy. >> reporter: administration officials say fbi director robert mueller broke the news to the president that federal agents had arrested the second suspect. homeland security adviser lisa monaco also briefed the president. >> how did they plan and car
combatant. how is legal action at this point most likely to move forward? >> reporter: well, the obama administration would never go for that, partly as a policy matter. they have made it quite clear that civilian courts are up to the task and they think in many ways better than military tribunals which are untested. civilian courts have convicted lots of terrorism defendants. it will be a federal case. they'll charge him withes with use of a weapons of mass destruction. the maximum penalty is the death penalty. the government will have to decide whether to seek that or not. there's an additional wrinkle here. he is an american citizen. he was a naturalized citizen last year oddly on 9/11 of last year, and there is an open legal question about whether even if the government wanted to, it could declare an american citizen captured on u.s. soil as an enemy combatant. it's an untested question. the government tried to do it in the case of jose padilla several years ago and as that case was about to go to the supreme court, the government changed its mind and put him into civilian court so
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